“What’s going on in there, what on earth are they baking  with mahleb, cardamom and Chios mastic that makes my mouth water” I kept asking myself as I passed the intersection of Aristotelous and Tsimiski. I followed the aroma of something freshly-baked to the basement of the best-known bakery of the city to learn that the Terkenli tsoureki, gastronomic trade mark of Thessaloniki, was created 68 years ago. I even managed to take a peek at the original   recipe, hand-written in 1950.

The corner patisserie directly above opened in 1948  and at the time it made mostly bread. Since then Terkenli shops have opened in many locations in Thessaloniki and Athens and the products vary from sweets to ice creams to pies, but the tsoureki, which comes in many flavors including vegetarian, continues to be the most-asked for delicacy  of the city.

Now, how can I choose among so many flavors? Every time I go I try one…